Since I purchased it, I have to admit I haven’t powered on the ZX81. It’s currently standard so only has an RF output and although I have TVs that still have analogue tuners they are just not in a convenient location to set this up. My plan was to do the composite video mod to make things a little easier but that was on my list of things to do.
Then, the other day I was browsing YouTube and came across a video where someone had bought a small 5″ CRT from Aliexpress and was connecting it to an Apple II computer. The TV he had was from an old video doorbell or something and was designed to be wall-mounted so not really what I was after. But the thought sat in my head that a small black and white CRT would be perfect for the ZX81 since it didn’t do colour anyway.
So a quick eBay search later I found a perfect condition 5.5″ Chinese monochrome CRT with a built-in RF tuner and radio for £11.99!!
And here it is, a match made in heaven!
I still need to find somewhere to set it up for display but this is a much more manageable size to deal with. The ZX81 also needs a new keyboard as the ribbon cable is perished on this one and is a bit flakey for typing programs on. I’ve also ordered a TZXDuino to help loading tape files into the older computers. I know I could use my mobile phone but these devices look so much cooler 😎